Actor Sylvester Stallone has long been known in collector communities for his watch taste centering around beefy timepieces. He is best known for helping Swiss made fake Panerai reach its fame before Richemont (then Vendôme) acquired the brand in 1997.
Stallone wore a perfect replica Panerai Luminor in the Hollywood film Daylight, a watch that can justifiably be considered the most important Panerai wristwatch ever to come to auction. Here’s why.
Until it was re-launched in Florence in 1993, Officine Panerai was an Italian military brand. After that relaunch a rather curious thing happened: the very large, sporty, technical-looking watches hit a tipping point in more exclusive consumer circles – collector circles, really – swinging the prevalent watch fashion away from flat (often quartz) watches and kicking off a new trend in oversized timepieces.
Around 1995 this “newcomer” brand came to the attention of Stallone, who commissioned a model based on the Mare Nostrum, a first re-issue of the resuscitated Panerai, and dubbed it the Slytech Submersible. This Slytech lacked the patented Panerai crown-locking device that its siblings possess, lending it a more conventional, though still very solid and definitely large, appearance.
Coinciding with the filming of 1996’s Daylight, Stallone commissioned a second model with the locking device that came to be called the Slytech Daylight (a Luminor model). And best fake Panerai became a product placement legend, propelling a new appreciation for these timepieces among a wider public, which was then nurtured and facilitated by the brand’s clever CEO, Angelo Bonati.
“I did a film called Daylight and I wanted to wear a watch that no one had ever seen. I strapped this on my wrist that day and didn’t take it off until the end of filming,” Phillips reports Stallone as saying. Here, he consigns the watch in the original shape as was worn for filming on the same rare sharkskin strap, as well as with original box, straps, brass screwdriver, and signed studio card.